Pedaling the Mechanical Horse

This post was first published on 10th November, 2010.

During the nineteenth century, the Bicycle which was referred to as “Mechanical Horse” by David V. Herlihy evoked an exciting new world in which every person could travel afar and at will. But now, in this modern world “Is the bicycle capable enough of competing with other advanced vehicles?”

While exploring my query, I came across many interesting inventions one among those is very interesting and provided hereunder for your reference.

Normally, while riding bicycles the rider’s legs push rotating pedals so that pushing down one of the pedals provides a corresponding lifting of the other pedal. During the competition, a cyclist uses the art of pushing one pedal while pulling the other pedal with toe straps. It has been found that the downward stroke is the most efficient and most forceful stroke for the typical bicycle rider. Even with experienced competition bicycle riders, there is only a small force applied as the pedal is traversing upward from the bottom position back to the top position.

Since torque is a product of the force and length of the moment arm, it has been found that increasing the length of the bicycle pedal arms during the downward thrust can generate more torque with less force. Also, if the pedal arm is shortened during the upward stroke it will return more rapidly to the upward position and will again be ready for the powerful downward stroke.

So in order to increase the Torque inventors Fortson and Tom (Plano invented a Bicycle Pedal Extension and acquired patent (US 5095772) in the year 1970. Their invention is about the pedal apparatus comprising an axle rigidly fixed to the vehicle frame and independently rotatable left and right pedal hubs with attached pedals rotatably mounted on the axle extender for the pedals, so that the pedal hubs extend the distance between the rigidly affixed axle and the pedals during a portion of each respective pedal stroke and contracts the distance on another portion of each pedal stroke, which will result in the increased torque.

This invention though simple is very effective and worthy of our applause.

Authored by Mr. Nirmal


  • November 10, 2010 Posted

    Great and a very useful information

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